Toni Anderson was a college student and a waitress at a Kansas City strip club. After leaving work to meet a friend, she texted her boyfriend: “OMG I just got pulled over again.”

It was 4:42 AM.

That was the last anyone heard from the twenty-year-old.

A North Kansas City Police officer reported pulling Anderson over for an illegal lane change, but let her off with a warning. The officer then saw her pull into a nearby gas station, from where she likely sent the text. It was the last place she was seen alive.

Found in Missouri River March 10

Afraid she may have fallen prey to a human trafficker, Toni Anderson’s family hired a team of private investigators to look into her disappearance. After some delicate and thorough sleuthing the investigators focused their search on a section of the Missouri River roughly ten miles from Toni Anderson’s last know whereabouts.  Using sonar, they detected a black 2012 Ford Focus-the make, and model that Anderson drove- submerged under the icy waters. Authorities pulled the car out of the river and found a woman’s body inside.

Autopsy

Police later confirmed that the body was Anderson’s. Despite the fears of her friends and family, there was no evidence of foul play. Her seat belt was unfastened and her window open, suggesting that she drove off the dock accidentally and tried to escape.

What Happened?

Police say it is possible Anderson’s GPS made an error, guiding her onto the dock. It is also possible that Anderson, rattled by her encounter with the officer, misread her surroundings. Per her mother, Liz: “If you look at the boat ramp she drove off of, it looks like a regular road — especially at night, when it’s dark. The police believe the ramp was icy and that she may have tried to stop, but the car went into the water.”

Closure After Months of Worry

Liz also said that finding and identifying her daughter has helped bring the family closure. The funeral took place March 21, roughly nine weeks after her death.